Monday 19 June 2017

Of bees

Anyone else with bees looking out the window wondering if they will swarm?! The bees have all made it through a mild winter and the colonies are strong. Because of the heat most hives have lots of bees "bearding" to the out side of the hive to keep themselves and the hive cool. On first sight it is difficult to assess if they are about to swarm, so I keep looking to see what they will do next. We had one swarm last week and it was a whopper! It settled low in a pyracanth so was easy to collect though the nasty thorns kept catching at my veil. When boxed it almost filled all the frames, so it is more than possible that we will get honey from it later in the year.

Our godson who also keeps bees has had several swarms from the hives in his and his parent's gardens (they live next door to each other) Unfortunately, his father was stung last week and had a serious reaction that the doctor says will only get worse with any further stings! So Gds has to look to rehome his bees. he will have to sell some bees and just keep half a dozen hives in whatever plot he finds to house them. So if anyone in Notts/Derbys is looking to buy some bees let me know and I will see that you are contacted.
Looking out of the window I do believe I see bees pouring out of hive No 5.. must go!
Yup. sat at the door for 10 mins to see them landing in one of the damsons. They have settled on several branches at the mo, so will look again in a few minutes to see if they have amalgamated into one lump and where in the tree that might be. I hope it is the lower branch!

Tuesday 13 June 2017

Some Derbyshire cheese

I'm feeling a little more positive about the veggie gardens this week. While there are still some heroic weeds out there I have begun to tame them and am planting with a vengeance! I'm having a go at sweet potatoes this year. The youngsters like them, though I'm not too keen really. They are okay in a chilli and curry but that's about all. Anybody else growing or have grown sweet potatoes? Were they worth the effort and cost (£2 a plant)?
I was in the garden showing GF round, (earlier he had been looking at my latest glass purchases - I told you it was a weakness!) and a fellow beekeeper called in to bring us a sample of her latest cheeses. Oh MY! are they good! She doesn't sell them until she has matured them a little. I do like a nice Brie and these are as close as you can get to a Brie. I love the hole in the middle, she lives on Stanage Edge up in wildest Derbyshire Peak District - hence Stanage Millstone. You can visit her site at
In (a poor) swap I gave her a teasle plant and a syrup feeder for her bees.
We were fishing in Cornwall again last weekend, David brought home a goodly catch of Pollack and Ling and I found a cute stall in the Tavistock Pannier market where I bought 2 cut glass whisky glasses and four small liqueur-type glasses of different styles for my collection. GF tells me that one is Bohemian, one from the mid Victorian era and one from around 1820, he isn't sure about the other. Each glass cost me £1 and I am very pleased with them.
The bees still haven't swarmed, or if they have I have missed them going. We are hoping for a good honey year. Other beekeepers we know feel the same. I do hope my bloggy beekeeper friends are doing well too.
This year's broodies only seem to be able to hatch the odd egg before leaving all the others behind to go cold and expire. We have four hens with eight chicks between them so far - rubbish! Three others are sitting, let's see how well they do!
We are now on countdown to our annual Bash. It is in four weeks and we have another weekend in Cornwall planned before then. No pressure there then. As usual we will have over 20 tents, with approx 150 guests all told (not everyone camps) There will be races, 50 a side rounders, country dancing and a group at night for a boogie. Most of this is no effort as we have all we need in equipment and most people bring a plate of food. David has organised some barrels of local ale and cider and it remains to make the place safe and set up the recycling area.
 Enough of my ramblings.
back soon

Saturday 10 June 2017

Back to the blog post election

Hello All
Just a very quick post to say I am still here and battling on, sorry I have been so tardy posting, but I'm now "Back to the Blog"
The election has been interesting hasn't it?!!
Reading people's  blogs over the last few days (rather than keeping this one up to date!) I am struck by how SURE many people are that they are right and anyone who disagrees is a fool/ misguided etc. I wish I could be so sure that I was Right in my views. There are so many variables to each argument and so many views/ experiences to consider. I am a life-long Socialist (no shit Sherlock!) but do not consider that it is the only party that understands what a country or its people needs. I consider it has many flaws and am often upset  by some of its' policies and pissed off with some of the pretty uninspiring candidates ( I believe Diane Abbot is to leave her shadow cabinet post... thank goodness for that!) Whatever happened to the good old Statesmen of both parties? I have just read that Mrs May may be considering aligning herself with the DUP. marvellous!! anti abortion, anti gay etc. They could  also consider whether women should continue to have the vote while we are at it!
SO enough of that (for now) I'm off to brave the showers and plant up some more veg plants that are bursting out of their pots, prick out the tomatoes, pick gossegogs and string up the hops! All these things are achievable and good for the soul.
Back soon  - honest!